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I'm sure we've all seen and/or played Final Fantasy VII. I was asked to join into the fray of an epic game being run once a month starting at ECL 21 and to bring a character with starting wealth as a character that I've always wanted to play to the EPIC levels.

I've enjoyed Tome of Battle, but always been shut down on playing classes from there because my typical run of the mill DMs don't like the maneuver system, or whatever excuse they have. So now I've decided on my class as a Warblade, utilizing Iron Heart some Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw Maneuvers I've recreated the Coolest of Cloud Strife's Limit Breaks, and arranged my stats to get Monkey Grip and Wield Over Sized Weapon [Epic Feat] so i can wield a Big Freaking Sword. There are two issues i have, 1) no matter how big my sword is, i still only threaten 5' and can only strike 5' away. A stance i could take would allow me to strike with an additional 5' of reach, but only on my turn. The feat Lunging Strike reduces me to a single attack with an extra 5' reach as a full round action. So what can i do to increase my threatened reach, short of pleading the DM for a "My sword is 12 Feet long, how don't i hit someone 10' away?" ruling.

2) Where should i allocate my wealth? I'm clearly stuck with the 3 Manuals at +5 reducing my 975K to 562.5K I figure i'm putting around 215.5K into my Weapon to make it a +10 Equivalent weapon made of Aurorum with the Spellblade and Sizing properties. So with 347K left over where should i put this? Skin of the Hero is decent at 77K but it's a +3 Deflection, +3 Resistance on saves, and a +3 enhancement to hit. Magic Item Compendium says to upgrade the effects it would bring the cost to a total of 125K for a +5 Deflection, +5 Saves, +3 to Hit. But is it worth it? I could also buy a Belt of Magnificence to gain a +4 to all my stats for only 100K. And a Ring of Universal Resistance (20) for 120K. those three leave me with 2000g for everything else. So do i drop one +2 enchantment from my weapon and keep the resulting 72K for augment crystals and survivability items, or can someone suggest some survivable items for around EPIC campaigns?

I just thought of a third question. Spellblade enhancement costs 6000g and protects from a single spell chosen at creation. So which spell do i protect myself from? It has to be a targeted effect, area effects won't work with this enchantment. At first i was thinking of Energy Drain, but then i realized my Fort save is my strong point, and then laughed at myself because Iron Heart Surge will end any effect that i choose that lasts longer than one round. Broken? Yes... But it makes me not have to worry about that spell. So then what spell do i pick? or should i scrap this entire idea? I was wondering about Disintegrate, but i'm still not sure that it would harm me that well, I would just hope that it would protect my equipment because the sword was specifically designed to absorb that spell, and either let it dissipate harmlessly, or redirect it at another target. Ideas on this?

Wield Oversized Weapons requires a 25 Str, That was my main goal, first 18 went to Str, I increased this to 20 at level 12. My next stat rolled a 17 for Con, giving me a 20 at level 20. 16 for Dex, 16 for Int, 14 Wis, 10 Cha... This set me up quite nicely, originally i planned on going WB 20/ FTR 1. This gave me a Fighter level of 19 at 21st level, when i would take Oversized as my epic feat, and Weapon Supremacy as my other feat... Instead i have increased Dex to 21 for Epic Speed (60' landspeed sounded awesome!) I also qualify for the Damage Reduction feat (Con 21) and Fast Healing (Con 25) each at 3 points per level. My Feat progression follows as such, A cheaper way has been pointed out thus i can knock some of the price off of my +5 Tomes and use the lvl 17 Caster level trick.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Ernir, Phil, LitheOhm, GMJoe, MadMAxJr Aug 21 '13 at 15:38

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You might also want to ask in the official 3.5 optimization forum: community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75882/136042/… –  Oblivious Sage Jun 8 '12 at 17:23
    
Yeah i don't know why i didn't post it in there right away either. I have the same handle on the CO boards. It's titled Soldier First Class my Warblade! on the CO Board. community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29167145/… –  Gainesja Jun 8 '12 at 19:29
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Hi Gainesja. You may want to split this off into a few different questions. You've got a pretty thorough answer on item selection here, so I'd recommend creating new questions for the reach and Spellblade enhancement questions. Splitting the question makes it a lot easier to get answers... People don't feel like they need to optimize your gear in order to provide you with advice on reach :) –  AceCalhoon Jun 9 '12 at 0:27

1 Answer 1

Well, can't help you much with reach, short of suggesting you switch to spiked chain. I do have a fair bit to say about item selection, though.

In magic item selection theory, there's a notion called the Big Six. They're defined as passive, always-on boosts to the important combat stats (AC, saves, to-hit, and damage). They're generally considered to be:

  • Ring of Protection / anything with a passive deflection bonus to AC. You've got that from the Skin, but it's probably more cost efficient to just buy a Ring +5 and a Cloak +5 for 75k (see also weapon below)

  • Magic armor / shield. You should have this. It's the cheapest per point of AC boost (1k * bonus squared rather than 2k * bonus squared for Deflection or Natural Armor). Armor bonus is cheapest per point, protection applies to both touch and flat-footed so it's nice, and natural is the worst of the three. You could get +5 armor and a +5 cloak for 50k total and save 27k on the skin. There's also a point where getting an animated / floaty shield is a good buy for boosting AC.

  • Amulet of Natural Armor. While this is technically the worst, it's still useful. Why? Because of quadratic price growth. Let's say you want +5 magic bonus to AC (you really want much more than that, but hypothetically). You could buy +5 armor for 25k... or +2 armor (4k), +2 deflect (8k), and +1 natural (2k) for a total price of 14k. The same pattern is useful even at higher bonus levels. This strategy saves money but uses more slots. It can be worthwhile to make the items slotless for double the price.

  • Cloak of Resistance. I think you get that you want +5 if you want to survive. Decent candidate for slotlessing too, or putting it on the rarely-used chest / vest slot (Tome and Blood had vests of resistance way back in 3.0).

  • Magic weapon. Not familiar with any of Aurorum, Spellblade, or Sizing, so I can't comment on their effectiveness, but one point that might be worth mentioning is that a +10 equivalent sword costs 4 times as much as a +5 weapon and has the same accuracy in general... With warblade maneuvers, hitting is the most important thing, since you get piles of extra d6s compared to normal fighters who have to drop accuracy with PAT to increase damage. You might be able to skimp on the weapon special qualities and rely on maneuvers for damage, which would save you a lot of cash. I find Magebane from one of the Completes to be quite good, since a lot of high-level foes are either spellcasters or have spell-like abilities. As an aside, the bonus from weapon enhancement and the Skin enhancement bonus are the same type and don't stack; hence, if you're going to spend a pile on your weapon, you should probably avoid the Skin.

  • Ability score boosters (Gauntlets of Ogre Power and friends). I think you've made a mistake here. You should definitely look into constant-effect enhancement bonus generators like the Gauntlets before going with the manuals, since the price-per-point of bonus from the manuals is much, much higher. Ex: 3 +6 ability score items will run you 108k. If you make them all slotless, they're still only 216k, which is close to half what you're paying for less bonus from the books. The tomes are for when you've maxed out your enhancement bonus, but still want to boost that score. Belt of Magnificence is not a terrible buy for what you get, but you're probably going to want +6 to your mainstats rather than +4. Also if you end up stacking enhancement and inherent (tomes) on the same stat, tailor your more expensive inherent bonus to put your stat on an even number; +5 may not gain you anything over +4 if you have an even base stat.

What else to buy: Universal Resistance is not a bad idea. Rings of spell turning can be fun too. I'm partial to luckstones because there aren't all that many sources of luck bonuses so they stack with a lot of stuff (and +saves is always good). If you've got a particular skill that you're relying on heavily for maneuvers (like Concentration or Jump), you could get an item crafted to boost it (skill boosters are remarkably inexpensive and quite handy). When I was playing 20th level, we also all bought ioun stones of spell storing (don't have the exact name handy) and had the cleric put Heals in 'em. Those were pretty sweet, but might be less good with Surge available. You could also look into picking up haste or flight generators; flight's practically essential for epic melee unless you want to rely on the pity of the casters (they have better things to do with their combat actions than make you fly), and haste's always nice. Adamantine weapons are also rather convenient; at epic, arcanists generally have Stoneskin up as a matter of course (though with ToB strikes you might be able to circumvent DR), and superior sundering is nice against weapon-wielding foes. Plus, price doesn't scale with weapon size.

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Clarifying some choices here, Aurorum is +4,000g to any armor/weapon. It allows the pieces to be reforged after being sundered as a full round action to gather the pieces together. Spellblade is a 6,000g enhancement that allows the sword to absorb a targeted spell against the wielder, i.e. disintegration, which would protect me and my sword from such. Sizing is +5,000g from the MIC, it allows me to change the size of my sword to whatever i feel like. A Med Greatsword to fit on my back, and a Huge greatsword to obliterate my enemies. Gargantuan if i threw in the +2 'Balanced' enchant. –  Gainesja Jun 9 '12 at 7:59
    
The enchants i wanted was a flat +3 Sword. +2 for Transmuting (Hit once and it auto attunes to overcome DR -MIC), +1 each for three Martial Discipline weapon enchants, Tiger Claw, Diamond Mind and Iron Heart. That is a +3 weapon that with my combination of perma-dual stance gives me a +10 to hit from my weapon, +12 if i'm using a strike from the third school. The minimum of a +3 enchant is for the Greater True Death and Greater Demolition crystals. +1d6 and ability to crit undead/ Constructs seemed awesome. Plus True Death grants Ghost Touch! –  Gainesja Jun 9 '12 at 8:11
    
The last enchant that i would do if i decide on a +10 enchant weapon is +2 for Balanced, (DM agreed that the weapon counts as 1 category lighter and 1 category smaller in effort to wield. So if the weapon itself does such, Oversized states "ANY weapon" as it's one size smaller and one step lighter in effort to wield it. So a huge Balanced sword counts as a Large sword to wield. Oversized lets me wield that with no penalty. Gargantuan Balanced becomes a Huge sword, Oversized treats that as a Large sword, and Monkeygrip lets me wield that at a -2 penalty. Or no penalty with Strongarm Bracers –  Gainesja Jun 9 '12 at 8:14
    
Magebane has been errata'ed (or updated?) and does not work on all the creatures it used to. –  Zachiel May 30 '13 at 14:38
    
@Gainesja A targeted disintegration to the blade would bypass Spellblade, since that only protects from things that target you. –  Zachiel Aug 25 at 23:20

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